Sony Pictures Entertainment (“SPE”) and AT&T Inc.* (NYSE:T, news, filings) today announced that SPE has acquired AT&T’s minority stake in Game Show Network, LLC (“Game Show Network”). SPE now owns 100% of the multimedia entertainment company offering original and classic game programming to millions of subscribers through the U.S.-based cable network. It also offers online and mobile games to millions of users through GSN Games. Following the transaction, the Game Show Network channel will continue to be carried on DIRECTV.
The sale is consistent with AT&T’s strategy to monetize non-strategic assets as it de-levers its balance sheet and begins to retire shares. Prior to the transaction, SPE owned a 58% stake in Game Show Network, and AT&T owned the remaining 42%. In connection with the transaction, AT&T received approximately $500 million, including proceeds for its equity stake valued at $380 million (before transaction-related adjustments) and dividends of approximately $130 million. Game Show Network will continue to be managed by Sony Pictures Television (“SPT”) with Mark Feldman continuing as President and CEO of the multimedia outlet. The acquisition will bolster SPT’s already robust catalogue of game shows and first-run series, such as Jeopardy! and Wheel of Fortune, solidifying its position as the leader in all facets of the U.S. TV game show business.
“We’re excited to bring Game Show Network fully into the Sony Pictures Entertainment portfolio,” said Mike Hopkins, Chairman, Sony Pictures Television. “The acquisition allows us to work more closely with the company’s talented team to deliver the best iconic game shows, develop and syndicate new game show IP for audiences across the nation, as well as to advance the fast-growing GSN Games business, all of which directly aligns with our strategy of developing targeted direct-to-consumer offerings.”
Game Show Network television programming includes originals such as America Says, The Chase, Common Knowledge and Catch 21, syndicated favorites including Wheel of Fortune and Family Feud, and classics including The $25,000 Pyramid and Card Sharks. GSN Games’ collection of mobile games includes GSN Casino, Bingo Bash, Wheel of Fortune® Slots, Solitaire TriPeaks, and WorldWinner, among others.